Climbers to Survey Ben Nevis North Faceby Mike Pescod Aug/2014
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The Nevis Landscape Partnership is leading an innovative project to survey previously unexplored areas of the North Face of Ben Nevis. The project, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Highland Council and Mammut aims to find new topographic, geological and biological data.
During the survey (Monday 11 - Friday 15 August) there will be an increased risk of rock fall in the surveyed areas, and though these are not likely to be regularly climbed routes the approach slopes to some climbs will be affected. Staff will be on hand on the mountain to advise climbers and walkers.
The North Face of Ben Nevis, which extends to roughly 125Ha of rock and steep scree, much of it only be accessible safely using ropes, has never before been surveyed for its flora. It is anticipated that a number of new locations of the rare species already recorded will be found, and it is possible that some species not hitherto recorded on Ben Nevis may be found. This will allow a much more accurate assessment of the presence and abundance of the rare plants and will therefore lead to a more focused approach to management and a greater likelihood of securing their survival.
In order to conduct the survey, a number of professional climbers will be trained in the identification of the relevant flora. They will then use their mountaineering skills to safely access the whole of the North Face to look for plants. Clean, dry rock will generally be avoided and the focus will be on the loose, damp ground where these species are most likely to be found. Botanists will be on hand to assist in the survey and identification of the plants, and will be taken to the richest locations by the climbers.
Mountaineering principles will be followed throughout the survey. No fixed or permanent anchors will be placed or left behind. Any old slings, ropes or other discarded climbing materials will be cleared away unless it is in regular use.
Notice to Climbers and Walkers
During the survey (Monday 11th to Friday 15th August 2014) there will be an increased risk of rock fall in the areas that the climbers are surveying. These areas are not likely to be regularly climbed routes. However the approach slopes to some climbs will be affected.
Staff will be in place during the survey to inform climbers and walkers of the precise location of the surveyors each day. Access to climbs will be possible at all times however your understanding is appreciated with this important work. Surveyors will be in radio communication with staff at the base and access through affected areas will be possible at all times.
Please do not move, remove or tamper with any fixed ropes on the North Face of Ben Nevis during this period. They are temporary and everything will be removed at the end of the survey.
If you have any queries about the survey, how it might affect your plans or access to routes please contact Mike Pescod on firstname.lastname@example.org